Welcome to Recommended Reads! We’ll be doing a blog post once a month of our favorite picks for picture books, chapter books, middle grade books, and young adult books. If you follow us on Goodreads, you’ve probably already seen these pop up.
Our newest favorite author is Amy Krouse Rosenthal. We have enjoyed every single one of her books so far, but here are the ones we’ve liked the best:
Spoon and Chopsticks- These are Rosenthal’s “Utensil” series. The highlight of these books are the puns! My husband and I loved them, although D didn’t get them all quite yet. Here is a quick synopsis: Spoon is jealous of his utensil friends, because he feels like they get to do things he can’t. But what he doesn’t realize is that he can do many unique things as well. Chopsticks are always together, until one of them gets injured. They learn to grown as they are apart, and reunite a stronger pair.
Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink- I loved this series because it shows things from a different perspective. Little Pea hates eating candy, and he has to eat it every night for dinner! Little Hoot just wants to go to bed early, but he has to stay up late. Little Oink loves to clean, but is expected to keep things dirty.
Friendshape and Exclamation Mark- These books are full of puns and very visual for children. Friendshape is about four shapes who are best friends. Exclamation Mark has always wanted to fit in with the periods but eventually learns that it is okay to stand out.
Bedtime for Mommy- a cute reversal of roles book where a girl has to put her mom down to bed. My son LOVES this book and requests if frequently.
I highly recommend the Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka. These books have just the right balance of history, magic, and comedy. There are currently sixteen books in the series, which should keep you and your boys busy for a while! These books are short enough to read out loud with your child, and they are fast paced enough to keep their attention.
Jon Scieszka is also the founder of Guys Read, a web-based literacy program dedicated to helping boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.
Middle Grade Books
I loved Allison Hymas’ debut book, “Under Locker and Key.” The book released last week, and it is a new favorite. Here’s the synopsis: “In the jungle that is middle school, Jeremy Wilderson is the world’s one and only retrieval specialist. He’ll find and return your stolen property before the last bell rings. Business is good, and if it weren’t for the meddling of Becca Mills, whose number one goal is to put Jeremy in detention for life, he’d be happier than a gym teacher on dodgeball day. But when Jeremy botches a job, he accidentally places the master key to every locker in the school in the hands of an aspiring crime kingpin. Lockers are being robbed, teachers are hunting for the culprit, and the only person Jeremy can turn to is the one who wants to bring him down.”
If that wasn’t enough to entice you to read the book, let me just say that the characters in this book are relatable and funny. I loved learning more about Jeremy’s friends and seeing these kids develop their talents in extraordinary ways. This book is fast paced, and a great read for any boy (or girl.)
Young Adult Books
If you or your son is looking for a series with ridiculous plot twists and turns, you should read Jennifer Neilson’s The False Prince Series. The False Prince centers on a young man who is kidnapped and pitted against several other young men to learn how to impersonate a prince in order to overthrow a kingdom. Failure will result in death. But instead of stressing about this, the protagonist chooses to walk the fine line between going along with the plan and tormenting his kidnappers. Little do they know, his past and his motives are more complex than they ever imagined.